Friday, November 30, 2012

VIDEO: Evernham Puts "For-Ply" Through Its Paces


SiriusXM Speedway regular Ray Evernham dusted off his new, custom-built 1964 Plymouth Belvedere “For-Ply” on the quarter-mile Strip at Charlotte Motor Speedway today, in preparation for the car’s auction at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction in Scottsdale, Arizona next January.

Season's Over, But Lofton Still Racing

Lofton goes off-roading...
While many competitors in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series take time to rest during the "off season," Justin Lofton keeps on racing.

Lofton returns to his pre-NASCAR roots this weekend to compete in the Henderson "250" with the Best in the Desert (BITD) Off-Road Racing Association. Lofton, the defending champion of the race, will defend his title at the wheel of his No. 1577 Class 1500 Unlimited Jimco entry sponsored by Lofton Cattle, General Tire, South Point Hotel & Casino, Impact, Fox Racing Shocks, SPEED Energy, J6 INK, and Jimco Racing Inc.

Lofton will join Jorge Lameda to take on 16 other vehicles in their class, participating in the third race of the day with a green flag scheduled to fly shortly after 12:30 p.m. local time Saturday. The Henderson "250" is made up of three laps around an approximately 80-mile loop across the Nevada desert, where competitors will be faced with large rocks, steep drop-offs and cliffs. Qualifying took place Thursday, with Lofton qualifying in second place.

This year’s event will decide the Class Champions, Rookie of the Year, and the recipient of the Camburg Best In The Desert Award-an award presented to the fastest driver per mile for every race.

Photo: TeamESR.com

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Gordon Wins Myers Brothers Award

Four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jeff Gordon is the recipient of the National Motorsports Press Association’s Myers Brothers Award.

The award, named in honor of former NASCAR competitors Billy and Bobby Myers, was presented this afternoon at the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards event at the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas.

Gordon began his full-time Cup racing career in 1993, winning the championship in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 2001. He has 87 career wins in his 20-year career, all with Hendrick Motorsports. His contributions to the sport, though, go beyond on-track accomplishments. He formed the Jeff Gordon Foundation in 1999 to aid children battling cancer. Through the foundation, he supports the Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Hospital in Concord, N.C., and has committed to help children fight cancer in Africa. He also, with sponsor AARP’s Drive to End Hunger program, works to bring attention to hunger among Americans 50 and older.
“Jeff Gordon is an ambassador for NASCAR,” NMPA President Rea White said. “He has not only brought excitement to the sport on the track, but has brought awareness and aid to the children who most need it. He is truly a champion in every respect.”
Voted on each year by members of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA), the Myers Brothers Award recognizes individuals and/or groups who have provided outstanding contributions to the sport of stock car racing.
Richard Childress was also a finalist for the award.
The award, presented annually since 1958, honors Billy and Bobby Myers, racers who competed in the Carolinas and Virginia. They passed on a legacy of racing to their families that spans three generations.

Squier Honored With Buddy Shuman Award

Motorsports broadcasting pioneer Ken Squier received the prestigious NASCAR Buddy Shuman Award during the 2012 NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Award Luncheon today in Las Vegas. The Shuman award is sponsored Federal-Mogul's Champion brand of spark plugs, wipers and chemical additives. Squier is credited with convincing CBS television to undertake the first live, flag-to-flag broadcast of a NASCAR race and is widely recognized as one of the pre-eminent voices of the sport.

Squier is the 56th recipient of the award, which is presented annually to an individual who has played a key role in the continued growth and success of Cup racing. The award was established in memory of early NASCAR Grand National driver and chief technical inspector Louis Grier "Buddy" Shuman, a beloved figure who died tragically in a hotel fire in 1955.

For more than 20 years, Squier provided lap-by-lap commentary during NASCAR Cup telecasts and is credited with convincing CBS to offer flag-to-flag coverage of the Daytona 500 beginning in 1979. His timing couldn't have been better: The broadcast was seen by millions who were kept at home by a major East Coast storm, and those who tuned in witnessed the legendary trackside fistfight between drivers Bobby Allison and Cale Yarborough. Squier was the first to describe the annual Cup Series opener as "The Great American Race" and introduced a number of innovations - including the in-car camera - to motorsports telecasts.

"Ken helped bring not only a voice, but also a face, to Cup racing," said Michael Proud, director of marketing, North America, Federal-Mogul. "During every race there are dozens of drivers out there battling for track position. He was the first to bring those drivers' personalities into the race coverage. That was a huge step that helped make the sport much more accessible for millions of fans."

Squier announced his first stock car race, at Morrisville (Vt.) Speedway, at 14. He announced and promoted races at area tracks throughout the 1950s and '60s. In 1960, at age 21, he built the quarter-mile Thunder Road International SpeedBowl in Barre, Vt., and in 1969 was co-founder of the Motor Racing Network (MRN).

For all of his success in racing, Squier is first and foremost a broadcaster. The Vermont native began working at his father's radio station, WDEV, at age 12 and is now president and owner of Radio Vermont, Inc., which operates several stations in the Green Mountain State.

Earnhardt Scores Again In Most Popular Balloting

The National Motorsports Press Association is proud to announce, on behalf of all NASCAR fans who voted, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been crowned the 2012 NASCAR NMPA Most Popular Driver. The award, given annually since 1956, is Earnhardt Jr.'s 10th consecutive honor and was presented to him today during the NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Luncheon at The Encore at Wynn in Las Vegas, Nev. This now ties him with Bill Elliott as the only other driver to be presented the award 10 consecutive years. Elliott is still the all-time leader with 16 overall.

After fans voted from February to September, the top 10 drivers that earned the most votes were reset to zero. Drivers Kyle Busch, Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards, Jeff Gordon, Kevin Harvick, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Tony Stewart were all finalists who fans voted for during the final 10 weeks of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. After more than 934,000 votes were cast this season, Earnhardt Jr. proved once again to be the fans' favorite.
Completing the voting, in order, were Gordon, Kahne, Stewart, Johnson, Harvick, Kyle Busch, Edwards, Kenseth and Labonte. Earnhardt Jr. has now won the award since 2003, and with Elliott and Richard Petty, are the only drivers to receive it at least five consecutive times.
"It was an honor to hear that I won this year and am now tied with Bill (Elliott) for 10 in a row," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I've enjoyed this award because it's a testament to my fans. I appreciate their loyalty and dedication. It was great to get back in Victory Lane this year for my team and for my fans. I'm looking forward to a successful 2013, and am proud to accept this award on behalf of all the fans that voted."
Once again the NMPA was proud to support one of NASCAR's oldest and most prestigious awards during Champion Week in Las Vegas.
"Each year, NASCAR fans show their passion for their favorite driver in the NMPA NASCAR Most Popular Driver voting," said Rea White, president of the NMPA. "This award is not only for the driver, but also for the fans as something they can claim as their own at the end of each season. We're proud we can continue this tradition and once again the fans have spoken, selecting a great representative in Dale Earnhardt Jr."

SEE IT NOW! Chevy Unveils New Sprint Cup SS

Chevrolet opened a new chapter in its storied racing history today, unveiling its eagerly anticipated 2013 NASCAR Chevrolet SS race car. Powered by the legendary small block V-8 engine, the rear-wheel drive performance sedan will be Chevrolet’s newest entry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, beginning with the 2013 SpeedWeeks in Daytona, Fla.

The new NASCAR race car closely resembles the all-new rear wheel drive V-8 Chevrolet SS performance sedan that will debut early next year.
“As a passionate race fan, the debut of the SS NASCAR race car is a genuinely exciting moment for me,” said GM North America President Mark Reuss. “With the SS, Chevrolet is delivering a true rear-wheel-drive NASCAR race car that is very closely linked to the performance sedan that will be available for sale, ensuring that our most loyal enthusiasts will have the opportunity to experience the same thrill every day on the open road that our race car drivers enjoy on the track on race day.
“The Chevrolet SS also demonstrates how we are able to leverage our global product portfolio to deliver a unique performance experience,” Reuss said. “The specialized development and testing work done for the race car will certainly benefit the entire Chevrolet product lineup.”
The Chevrolet SS is the next in a long line of famed nameplates that Chevrolet has campaigned in NASCAR. It replaces Impala, which scored 152 wins from 1959-64 and 2007-12.
“We are looking forward to another exciting year of NASCAR competition and expect that the new SS race car, with some of the most skilled drivers on the circuit behind the wheel, will distinguish itself on the track,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports.
The Chevrolet SS will be a derivative of the award-winning global rear-wheel-drive architecture that spawns performance vehicles like Chevrolet Camaro and Holden’s upcoming VF Commodore.The limited production version of the Chevrolet SS will be a 2014 model and will arrive in dealer showrooms in late 2013. It is the first time in 17 years that Chevrolet will offer a rear-wheel-drive sedan for sale in the United States.
Chevrolet has long used the SS (Super Sport) designation on high-performance models of some of its most enduring nameplates. The SS designation first appeared in 1957 on a Corvette prototype race car built under the guidance of Zora Arkus-Duntov with the plan to enter it in the Le Mans 24-hour race.
The first production vehicle to be offered with an SS optional package was the 1961 Impala – 453 were built with the performance upgrades, which included a modified chassis and suspension, power brakes, a steering column mounted tachometer and unique wheels and tires. The SS designation returned to the Chevrolet lineup in 2010 with the debut of the fifth-generation Camaro.
Chevrolet has 702 victories in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, more than any other manufacturer. Fonty Flock earned the manufacturer’s first win on March 26, 1955, at Columbia, S.C. Five-time series champion Jimmie Johnson achieved Chevrolet’s 700th victory earlier this month at Texas Motor Speedway.
 

Keselowski, Stewart Are Smarter Than Fifth Graders

Biff and Matt: NOT smarter...
Whether NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are smarter than a fifth grader or not remains up for debate after Wednesday’s Las Vegas Motor Speedway-sponsored Fanfest at the Fremont Street Experience.

The event highlighted Day Two of Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, and proved that the 12 qualifiers for this year’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup can enjoy a good laugh – generally at their own expense – and the opportunity to mingle with hundreds of NASCAR fans young and old.

Only Martin Truex Jr. was willing to predict in advance that he was smarter than a group of fifth graders from Nellis Air Force Base’s Lomie Heard Elementary School. That turned out to be the wrong decision, as neither he nor Michael Waltrip Racing teammate Clint Bowyer were able to supply the correct answers to a series of questions including math problems, term lengths for U.S. Senators and the name of the line that separates the earth’s top and bottom halves.
The event was hosted by Miss Sprint Cup, Kim Coon and former Las Vegas Entertainer of the Year Kevin Burke, who plies his comic trade at Fremont Street Experience’s Fitzgeralds Hotel and Casino.
“We drive cars for a reason,” admitted Kevin Harvick after one incorrect response, apparently speaking for himself and his 11 colleagues.
In the end, current and former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions Brad Keselowski and Tony Stewart emerged victorious. Stewart supplied the correct answer, but only after giving Burke an opening to comment on the driver’s ample midsection.
“You’ve still got your washboard stomach,” Burke told the three-time champion. “You’re just carrying a load of laundry on it.”
Keselowski celebrated the victory by lifting the team’s fifth grader overhead, trophy-style.
Also honored on Wednesday were this year’s finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award – Ron Eby, Michael Jackson, Ali McDonough and Lorri Shealy Unumb – at an evening reception at Wynn Las Vegas. The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday night
Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images for NASCAR

Wolfe Named Kimberly-Clark Crew Chief Of The Year

Coming off of a 2012 season that featured 5 wins, 13 top-5 and 23 Top-10 finishes and ended with a Sprint Cup Series Championship, Paul Wolfe, crew chief for the No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge, has been named the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year.
 
During the span of the final 10 races, the Wolfe led No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge notched exceptional results including eight top-10 finishes, including a win in the opening Chase for the Sprint Cup race at Chicago and another two-weeks later at Dover. Entering the final race at Homestead the team needed a 15th place finish or better, and right on cue, they finished 15th and achieved a first Sprint Cup Series championship for Penske Racing and legendary team owner Roger Penske. 

"I'm honored to be the 2012 Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year and want to thank Kimberly-Clark Professional for recognizing the crew chiefs and teams in the garage," said Wolfe, "The No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge and Penske Racing team put in a lot of hard work and countless hours in pursuit of this achievement and I'd like to accept this award on behalf of the entire Penske Racing organization." 

In the hunt for the top crew chief honor for 2012, Wolfe topped Chad Knaus, crew chief for the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet and Darian Grubb, crew chief for the No. 11 FedEx Toyota. The trio of crew chiefs each took home Kimberly-Clark Professional Quarterly Crew Chief Spotlight awards and tied in total Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Race awards with five each.

"Paul, the No. 2 team and Brad never panicked when it was 'go time,'" said Jeff Hammond, NASCAR on FOX and Speed analyst and former championship winning crew chief. "Paul had the weight of the world on him but it never showed coming down the stretch. They led laps, won races and secured the best finishes they could in every race this year. Listen, Paul was battling two former winners of the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year in Knaus and Grubb, but he delivered."  

Wolfe is being presented a $10,000 check and trophy from Kimberly-Clark Professional for winning the award.  

"Congratulations to crew chief Paul Wolfe for being recognized as the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year," said Stephanie Rossignol, Business Leader for Kimberly-Clark Professional. "We are proud to recognize the hard work by Paul and all the crew chiefs each and every week. He and Penske Racing have been a strong supporter of our program and a partner who knows first-hand the value of our exceptional products and people." 

Wolfe joins a list of prominent crew chiefs that have won the Kimberly-Clark Professional Crew Chief of the Year award including two-time winner Chad Knaus, Darian Grubb, Gil Martin, Mike Ford, Tony Eury Sr., Robbie Reiser, and Doug Richert.

Photo: Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How Will The Trucks Race at Eldora? Take A Look!!


Here's a peek at the (then) TOP SECRET Camping World Truck Series test at Eldora Speedway earlier this summer; a test that gave rise to today's announcement that the series will race on Tony Stewart's legendary dirt track on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 for the inaugural Mudsummer Classic, marking NASCAR's first sanctioned National Tour event on dirt since September of 1970 in Raleigh, N.C.

IT'S ON! Trucks To Eldora In 2013

NASCAR today announced the 2013 schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, a slate that includes two exciting firsts: the series’ first race on dirt and its inaugural international event.

On July 24, the trucks will make their dirt debut at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio, the.5-mile track owned by three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Tony Stewart. This event will be the first of two Wednesday night races for the series, joining Bristol Motor Speedway’s popular mid-week race on Aug. 21.
“We’ve had talks about getting the trucks on dirt in the past,” said Steve O’Donnell, NASCAR senior vice president of racing operations. “The door-to-door racing that our truck series is known for plus Eldora’s popularity and Tony’s dedication to putting on great shows for the fans is a perfect fit. We’ll have a maximum starting field of 30 trucks at Eldora. More details on the race format are still being developed.”
Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, a 2.459-mile, 10-turn road course in Bowmanville, Ont., will host its inaugural truck event on Sept. 1, becoming the first road-course track for the series since 2000, and ensuring a NASCAR national series presence in Canada for a seventh-consecutive season.
“It’s very important that we maintain our national series presence in Canada,” O’Donnell said. “We’ve accomplished that goal while also bringing a world-class venue like Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on board. The Canadian fan base is so passionate and has a high regard for NASCAR. We’re excited to increase our role with our great partners at Canadian Tire while also introducing the truck series to our fans in Canada.
CTMP, which has hosted NASCAR Canadian Tire Series events since 2007, becomes the fifth different track to hold a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series road-course event, and first since Watkins Glen International on June 24, 2000.
Also beginning in 2013 as was recently announced by NASCAR, at road courses and tracks measuring 1.1 miles in length or less, the driver age restriction will be lowered to 16 years old. Currently, the minimum age to compete at the national series level is 18.
The balance of the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck schedule, the series’ 19th season,maintains a familiar feel, opening with Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 22 and culminating on Nov. 15 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Next year’s schedule also includes a return to Rockingham Speedway for the second consecutive season. Earlier this season, Rockingham re-joined NASCAR national series competition for the first time since 2004.
2013 NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES SCHEDULE
2/22 Daytona International Speedway
4/6 Martinsville Speedway
4/14 Rockingham Speedway
4/20 Kansas Speedway
5/17 Charlotte Motor Speedway
5/31 Dover International Speedway
6/7 Texas Motor Speedway
6/27 Kentucky Speedway
7/13 Iowa Speedway
7/24 Eldora Speedway
8/3 Pocono Raceway
8/17 Michigan International Speedway
8/21 Bristol Motor Speedway
9/1 Canadian Tire Motorsport Park
9/8 Iowa Speedway
9/13 Chicagoland Speedway
9/28 Las Vegas Motor Speedway
10/19 Talladega Superspeedway
10/26 Martinsville Speedway
11/1 Texas Motor Speedway
11/8 Phoenix International Raceway
11/15 Homestead-Miami Speedway

Keselowski Reveling In Vegas Champion's Week

Newly crowned NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski’s whirlwind week of post-championship activity continues.

Different day, different city, different setting.
The prelude to Champion’s Week in Las Vegas took Keselowski to New York City for a number of media obligations, including an appearance on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” On Tuesday, he was still talking about meeting iconic comedian/host, saying, “He was even funnier in person than on TV.”
On the opening day of Champion’s Week festivities in Las Vegas, Keselowski was channeling Willie Nelson, singing the opening lines of “On the Road Again.” A road that began in early March in Daytona Beach, Fla. with the Daytona 500 will conclude Friday when Keselowski, team owner Roger Penske and crew chief Paul Wolfe celebrate their first NASCAR Sprint Cup championships at Wynn Las Vegas.
Tuesday was Media Day for the 28-year-old, first-time champion. “You have questions; I have answers,” said Keselowski while greeting one in a series of television interviewers. At the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the subject matter turned to tanks. Keselowski, whose foundation serves military personnel and veterans, agreed a tank would make a nice addition to his collection of vehicles.
“I don’t want to do what everyone else does; I want to be different,” he said. “It will look good parked in my driveway behind my gate.”
Keselowski also spoke highly of the new, sixth generation stock car he and his NASCAR Sprint Cup colleagues will drive in 2013, calling it a “game changer for the sport” and adding, “it has way more growth potential than the current model.”
Keselowski and Wolfe surveyed the Wynn’s spacious hall where workers are readying the banquet room and red carpet area. He playfully picked up Clint Bowyer’s banner and placed it behind his own – just to be sure everyone knew who finished first.
The champion also visited a number of Las Vegas’ iconic destinations, including the Welcome to Las Vegas sign, the set of Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil at The Mirage and the House of Blues Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay.
Keselowski also participated in the opening day of NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum at the Aria, an event that continues today.
Overall, Keselowski said he was pleased to be back in Las Vegas; a 32nd-place finish in March’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway now all but forgotten. “Vegas is a special place to be,” he said. “It is a win-win situation for NASCAR and the fans. We love coming out here. It is a great week to be a race fan in Las Vegas.”
NASCAR’s Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™ qualifiers take over downtown’s legendary Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday for the Fourth Annual Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The 12 drivers will walk the red carpet, interact with fans and participate in a game-show format hosted by comic Carrot Top.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

NASCAR HomeTracks Names Most Popular Drivers

Chase Elliott
There was a record turnout this year on NASCARHomeTracks.com as fans made their selection for the Most Popular Driver Awards in each of the NASCAR touring series with four of the seven winners racing with rookie designation this season.

The Most Popular Driver Award winners for 2012 are:
·         Chase Elliott, NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
·         Cassie Gannis, NASCAR K&N Pro Series West
·         Ray Courtemanche Jr., NASCAR Canadian Tire Series
·         Pepe Montaño, NASCAR Toyota Series
·         Freddy Nordstrom, Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series
·         Ryan Preece, NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour
·         Danny Bohn, NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour

Nearly 210,000 votes were cast in the balloting, which opened in mid-August and ended on Sunday, Nov. 18. The total surpassed last year’s record of over 136,000 votes cast by 54 percent. This season’s record number is more than four times the 50,743 votes in 2008, the first year the Most Popular Driver voting was conducted online. For the second straight year voters were able to see the results as they voted.
“These numbers demonstrate how the fan base of NASCAR’s touring series continues to grow,” said George Silbermann, NASCAR vice president, regional and touring series. “Several drivers across the board engaged fans through various forms of social media which has taken this award to a new level.”
Elliott, son of 16-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Most Popular Driver Bill Elliott, was the only repeat winner from a year ago. The 16-year-old, second-generation driver from Dawsonville, Ga., collected 56 percent of the votes in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East while finishing fourth in the final driver standings.
Gannis, 21, of Phoenix, Ariz., garnered 42 percent of the vote while competing as a rookie in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
Danny Bohn
The newest member of NASCAR’s touring series – Euro-Racecar NASCAR Touring Series – led the way in total votes while London’s Freddy Nordstrom established a new record for votes cast for a single driver with nearly 58,000. He finished ninth in the standings for the European circuit.
Balloting in the NASCAR Canadian Tire Series presented by Mobil 1 was close throughout the voting period with rookie Ray Courtemanche Jr., from Montreal, Quebec, getting the nod.
Pepe Montaño led the way in Mexico’s NASCAR Toyota Series with 48 percent of the vote. The Hidalgo, Mexico driver picked up where three-time Most Popular Driver Jorge Arteaga left off after leaving the series to concentrate on racing in the United States.
Sunoco Rookie of the Year Danny Bohn of the NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour added another award to his list. The Freehold, N.J., driver collected over 10,000 votes as the tour’s runner-up in the final point standings.
The second-place driver also collected the honors in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour as Ryan Preece from Berlin, Conn., won the tightest race over veteran Mike Stefanik.
The Most Popular Driver Award winners will be recognized at the NASCAR Night of Champions Touring Awards on Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Charlotte (N.C.) Convention Center's Crown Ballroom in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Photos: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images North America,

Martinsville Speedway Toy Drive Starts Dec. 8

Want to have fun while putting a smile on a child’s face on Christmas morning? Then check out Martinsville Speedway’s 16th Annual Toy Drive on December 8.

For the price of a new toy, you can drive your car on the historic NASCAR track, and for a few dollars more you can take a ride in a real Sprint Cup car with Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell behind the wheel.

The toy drive is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 8 in the track’s infield. Santa Claus will be making his annual appearance at noon.

A $25 donation gets a few hot laps in a Sprint Cup car provided by Andy Hillenberg’s Fast Track High Performance Racing School; an authentic Sprint Cup car with a second seat for ridealongs. Riders will be outfitted in full racing gear including fire suit, helmet and Hans Device. Participants must be at least 16 years of age.

"We think this is something really special, something that race fans and non-race fans will enjoy doing and it’s all for a great cause,” Campbell said of the ride-along experience. “The $25 donation is a bargain to ride in a real race car at such a historic track. And all the money helps local children at Christmas.”

Campbell is an established NASCAR driver, competing in the NASCAR K&N East Series the past two seasons. He’s driven competitively in NASCAR weekly racing for more than a decade.

Those donating a toy or making a $10 donation will get to drive their personal vehicles around the track. Pace cars will lead the personal vehicles around the track.
All toys and monetary donations from the day will go to the Grace Network, which will distribute toys to families in need for Christmas. The Grace Network is able to serve over 200 children each year with toys and funds collected through the toy drive.
“Unfortunately the needs in our community continue to grow and many are struggling to keep their homes warm and food on the table,” said Becky McKinney, president of the board of directors for the Grace Network, a network of almost 100 churches in the area that identifies the families in need and distributes toys to them. “Added to their stress at this time of the year is providing Christmas for their children.
“The toy drive is such a blessing to these families as well as our Grace Network volunteers. Many of our volunteers look forward each year to working the toy drive and distributing the gifts. We are so grateful to Martinsville Speedway for making the toy drive possible and for all those in our community and beyond who unselfishly give to make Christmas special for neighbors in need.”
The Martinsville Speedway staff will be doing their part to help by manning the infield concession stand during the toy drive, making and serving the Famous Martinsville Speedway Hot Dogs. Hot dogs and Pepsi products are $1 each, with proceeds going toward purchasing toys.
Anyone who would like to donate a toy, but cannot make it to the Toy Drive, can drop them off at the Martinsville Speedway ticket office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Grace Network will distribute the collected toys to families in need. The monetary donations will be used to purchase additional toys. All of the toys will remain in the Martinsville and Henry County area.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Fans' Guide To Champions' Week 2012

To the victor go the spoils. And this week in Las Vegas, we’ve got two big winners.

First, of course, is 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski. Keselowski outlasted and outperformed 11 of the best drivers in the world over the 10-race stretch known as the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. In doing so, the 28-year-old captured the first NASCAR premier series championship for owner Roger Penske – and set the sport on high alert that a youth movement is upon it.
Winner No. 2? The fans.
For those passionate NASCAR fans who flock to Las Vegas, a full menu of activities awaits. For those who couldn’t make the trip, there’s good news. Much of it will be either broadcast on television and radio or streamed live on NASCAR.COM.
Here’s the lineup, which kicks off in earnest tomorrow and culminates with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards at the Wynn Las Vegas on Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET live on SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio…
Tuesday – Wednesday, Nov. 27-28
· NASCAR 2012 Motorsports Marketing Forum: The 13th annual NASCAR Motorsports Marketing Forum, presented by SportsBusiness Journal/Daily, is the motorsports industry’s most comprehensive business forum. Held at Aria Resort & Casino, the Forum will feature an array of insight and perspective from sports and marketing executives both within and outside the motorsports industry. Keselowski will be in attendance for the champion’s “fireside chat.” For more information, visit www.motorsportsmarketingforum.com.

· NASCAR Live: Motor Racing Network’s third annual champion’s edition of “NASCAR Live” with Eli Gold will be held at Wynn Las Vegas Race and Sports Book Tuesday, Nov. 27, starting at 4 p.m. PT. Gold will spend the hour with the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, taking calls and answering questions from the live audience.

Tuesday – Saturday, Nov. 27-Dec. 1
· NASCAR Pit Stop Tour: The Pit Stop Tour consists of Official Partner show cars featured in iconic locations throughout the Las Vegas strip from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. PT each day. Fans can get up close and personal with the cars at the following locations: Welcome to Las Vegas sign on Las Vegas Blvd. (NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Car); Coca-Cola Store (Coca-Cola); New York, New York (Chevrolet); Bally’s (Ford); and Fashion Show (Toyota).

Wednesday, Nov. 28
· Fanfest Presented by Las Vegas Motor Speedway: The fourth annual Fanfest event will be held on Fremont Street, and begin at 2 p.m. PT, with the arrival of the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The event will consist of a red carpet walk by the 12 drivers followed by a special “game show format” on-stage event featuring the drivers and hosted by nationally known comedian Carrot Top. Race fans will have the chance to win two tickets to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards to be held two nights later at Wynn Las Vegas. Highlights from the event can be viewed on NASCAR.COM Wednesday evening.

· Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award Reception: This year’s finalists for the Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award will be honored at a reception at Wynn Las Vegas from 6-7 p.m. PT Following, The NASCAR Foundation will announce the Award winner during this year’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards on Friday, Nov. 30. Fans can cast their vote to determine the 2012 Betty Jane France Humanitarian Award winner by visiting NASCAR.COM/award before 11:59 p.m. ET November 29.

Thursday, Nov. 29
· Chevrolet SS Race Car Unveiled at Wynn Las Vegas: A press conference will be held, at 9:30 a.m. PT, at the Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas, to unveil the 2013 Chevrolet SS NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race car. Media attendance is encouraged; however, this event is not open to the public. The event will be streamed live on NASCAR.COM.

· NASCAR NMPA Myers Brothers Awards Luncheon: The annual awards luncheon and industry gathering will be held from 11 a.m.-1:15 p.m. PT, in the Encore Ballroom at Encore Las Vegas, where several team awards will be presented. Among those awards included are the Champion Sponsor, Champion Crew Chief, Sunoco Rookie of the Year and NMPA Most Popular Driver awards. The event will be streamed live on NASCAR.COM.

· NASCAR Victory Lap: The green flag on fan-favorite NASCAR Victory Lap will wave at 3:30 p.m. PT, with pre-lap festivities to begin at 3 p.m. PT, when the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers will parade down Las Vegas Blvd. in their race cars with engines roaring. NASCAR Victory Lap will start and finish on Las Vegas Blvd., in front of Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, and will once again provide fans with a unique experience to feel the excitement of a NASCAR start line, feature an authentic pit stop (performed by members of the NASCAR Drive for Diversity Pit Crew Development Program presented by Sprint) and two burn-out sections for drivers — with viewing areas along the route. The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90 and streamed live on NASCAR.COM.

· NASCAR After The Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola: One of the premier events of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week, NASCAR After the Lap Sponsored by Ford and Coca-Cola will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. PT, at PH LIVE located in the Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. Fans can purchase tickets at www.NASCARafterthelap.com for $20 each (all proceeds benefit The NASCAR Foundation) to attend the unpredictable, unforgettable driver tell-all event featuring the top 12 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers. The event will be broadcast live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90 and live streamed on NASCAR.COM.

· The Stewie Awards: Following NASCAR After The Lap, 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Tony Stewart and Matt Yocum will host the sixth annual “Stewie Awards,” a lighthearted year-in-review, which airs live on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio channel 90.

Friday, Nov. 30
· 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards: The postseason, black tie event will begin at 5 p.m. PT at Wynn Las Vegas, where the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion driver and owner will be crowned and the top 10 drivers in the final standings will be honored. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Awards, the culmination of Champion’s Week, will feature red carpet arrivals, celebrity guests, music and entertainment. Hosted by “America’s Got Talent” judge Howie Mandel, the show will feature performances by Train, Lifehouse, Natasha Bedingfield, Phillip Phillips and entertainers from The Beatles LOVE. SPEED, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will provide live coverage of the event. Prior to the awards, NASCAR.COM will live stream a Miss Sprint Cup chat with Brad Keselowski.

For more information on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion’s Week in Las Vegas, visit NASCAR.com/ChampionsWeek.

BREAKING NEWS: Bodine Out At Red Horse Racing

The Onion needs a ride for 2013.
Two-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Todd Bodine appears to be out of a ride at Red Horse Racing. 

Multiple sources say the team laid-off a number of employees today, with plans to field only two full-time Truck Series Toyotas next season. Bodine, the 2006 and 2010 NCWTS champion, finished 14th in the 2012 championship standings with one win – at Dover on June 1 – along with five Top-5 and seven Top-10 finishes. He appears to be the odd-man-out at Red Horse Racing, with his No. 7 machine set to be parked due to a lack of sponsorship. Peters, who finished second behind champion James Buescher, and John Wes Townley, who brings sponsorship from the family-owned Zaxby’s fast food chain, will drive the team’s No. 17 and 7 Toyotas in 2013. 

Calls to both Bodine and Red Horse Racing seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Photo: LAT Photographic